Top Customer Relationship Management Articles of 2012

Today, we’d like to take a look at some of the other literature out there that talks about customer service relationships. In looking at the pros and cons of these customer service relationship management articles, we can learn a little bit about what the world thinks of this topic, and what some of the wisest in the field have to say. We hope that these articles will also provide further reading for you, so that you can get a more in depth understanding of CRM and the vital role it plays in most aspects of business and user experience.

The views expressed in these articles to not necessarily perfectly match our own, but we defer to the wisdom of these articles nonetheless. We’re going to look at the top three customer service relationship articles trending online now.

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Number 1 – “Customer relationship management: A way of designing structures and systems so that they are focused on providing consumers with what they want, rather than on what a company wants them to want” – The Economist (no author cited)

The economist has always been a periodical of good repute in business circles. Providing some pretty good insight in trading, marketing and intra-business relationships, the economist now takes a moment to look at CRM to understand that it’s not about conditioning customers to want what a company has to offer, but rather a company adapting to match the needs of its customers.

Of all the customer relationship management articles on this list, this one best summarizes CRM as a whole. It discusses in some detail how the view of CRM greatly changed over the course of the 20th century, moving from an idealized proposition to a fact of modern business. They go on to recommend further reading on the subject, which if you plan to read more than our top 3, you should definitely look at as well.

To get a view of the ever shifting attitude toward CRM, and the ideals of CRM as a whole, everyone in business should read this article.

(Cite: http://www.economist.com/node/14298886)

Number 2 – “How Social Media is Changing CRM” – Steve McKee for Business Week

Business week is another periodical that offers many an insightful look into the multiple facets of business and customer relations. In this article, Mr. McKee takes a moment to look at the ramifications of the new digital millennium, and the social media of movement and how it’s affecting CRM.

Some would argue that this is one of the more topical customer relationship management articles out there right now, and for good reason. We won’t spoil it here, but this article points out some interesting facets of how the Internet is changing business, marketing models and the attitude of customers as a whole. Just like how the economist pointed out that customer opinion and relationship between consumer and provider changed via steady drift over the 20th century, this article points out the steep changes and overall attitude.

Mr. McKee certainly understands being digital, and he certainly understands business. It’s rare to find an instance where both of these coexist, so he is worth listing to, or rather, reading!

(Cite: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-06-08/how-social-media-is-changing-crm)

Number 3 – “Why CRM Fails – and How to Fix it” – Stan Maklan, Simon Knox and Joe Peppard for MITSloan

It’s usually pretty hard to argue with MIT, and for good reason. While their most respected for their grasp on technology, and MIT also shelters some of the greatest mathematical, strategic and business minds in the western world. In this article, Mr. Maklan, Mr. Knox and Mr. Peppard discuss a very important topic, that being why CRM models may fail, and how to fix the problem, as well as contain damage during the initial problem.

They look at the average attitude towards CRM, and the attitudinal climate of customers in the new millennium, as well as the pros and cons of technology being a variable in the entire equation.

More objective than the other two customer service management articles, this one is a good close to this trifecta.

(Cite: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/2011-summer/52414/why-crm-and-how-to-fix-it/)

With these articles, we first take a look at how CRM has evolve in changed over time, and then we’ve taken a look at the contributions and damage done by the increasingly technological society in which we live.

Lastly, we took an objective look at how to control damage, and ensure better CRM in the future with these two things in mind. If you only have time to read three customer service management articles, these are the three you should choose. A more summarized and complete look at CRM we have yet to see.

Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe